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Ideas. Insights. Inspiration.

AI and the End of Work as We Know It

Many people fear AI will take our jobs and make much of the work we do today obsolete.


That idea is not completely absurd.


It's unlikely you'll ever again be asked to join a meeting simply to take notes, for example; AI can not only transcribe what is said but also provide concise summaries and key takeaways with a fair degree of accuracy. It's not perfect today, but it'll only get better.


If your primary job involves scheduling meetings, booking travel, sending out company updates, or analyzing data, you may want to start updating your resume.


Fortunately, AI can help with that too.


Customer Support representatives aren't likely to be made entirely redundant any time soon, but that doesn't appear to be for a lack of trying. Swedish Fintech company Klarna claims that AI-powered chatbots are already doing the work of 700 employees, handling 2.3 million customer service chats in 35 languages. For now, Klarna customers still have the option of interacting with live representatives, although the company claims "the chatbot is more accurate in errand resolution and saw a 25 percent drop in repeat inquiries."


Just as self-checkout machines have replaced some grocery-store cashiers (although those jobs seem to be returning) and ATMs reduced the number of bank tellers required at each branch, AI will inevitably replace some jobs.


But it will also create others.


AI technologies will enable people to pursue creative and learning opportunities that may not have been easy to accomplish before; this Microsoft ad suggests a few possibilities.



I've tried using AI to write blog posts in the past, and I haven't been satisfied enough with the result to be worried that writers have anything to worry about. For now, anyway.


But I'll freely admit I've used AI technologies like Microsoft CoPilot and Google Gemini to help me brainstorm ideas and consider different angles for stories, tasks these tools do well.


I've also used AI to help me generate images for my blog posts whenever I can't find a relevant image I like on a free stock photography website; the results here can be hit-and-miss, but with the right prompts and a little bit of patience, I usually end up with something I can use. Like the image below, generated using Microsoft CoPilot with the prompt, "Create an image of two children fascinated by a computer that is using AI to solve problems":


An AI generated image of two children looking at a computer screen with fascination.

Admittedly, the eyes don't quite look right... but otherwise, that's not bad, don't you think?


Many people focus on the negative aspects of what AI will bring.


I choose to also focus on the positive.


AI could mean the end of work as we know it... I just don't think that's a bad thing.


Or, if I can paraphrase a classic R.E.M. song,


It's the end of the work as we know it... and I feel fine.



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